2015 Bloomsday Elite Preview - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

2015 Bloomsday Elite Preview

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Allan Kiprono and Kevin Kochei plan on going neck-and-neck again in the 2015 running of Bloomsday. Allan Kiprono and Kevin Kochei plan on going neck-and-neck again in the 2015 running of Bloomsday.
SPOKANE, Wash. -- The 2015 Bloomsday Elite fields were announced on Thursday as the festivities begin to take over the Lilac City before the race on Sunday morning live on SWX and KHQ starting at 8 a.m. PT.

A few familiar faces rolled into town in all three Elite heats (men's, women's and men's and women's wheelchair) to have a chance at re-claiming their crown. 

2015 Elite Male Preview

On the men's side of things Kenyan Allan Kiprono returns as the reigning and two-time champion to earn the first bib, with the 2014 runner-up Kevin Kochei coming back to Spokane for a shot at revenge vs. his fellow countryman. Lani Kiplagat Rutto is will look to upset the duo hot off his second-place finish in the Asics Los Angeles Marathon (2:12:43), but he has never finished better than fifth on Bloomsday's shorter course and placed 13th in last years run.

The top American competitor is Patrick Smyth finished 15th in the 2014 at Bloomsday and was the fifth American to cross the finish line last year. Another interesting note is local Ferris and WSU grad David Hickerson competing again this year. He ran a 38:32 here last year and ran cross country and track and field for the Cougars.

A dark horse candidate in this year's run is John Muritu of Kenya after he's won the Crescent City Classic 10K and Azalea Trail Run 10K in 2015. Muritu is only 18 and he also finished fifth in the 2015 Hy-Vee 10K.

2015 Elite Female Preview

The Elite female runners will have an open season with 2014 champion Mary Wacera scratching out of the 2015 race. Wacera narrowly defeated fellow Kenyan Lineth Chepkurui by only :02 seconds. Chepkurui is a three-time Bloomsday champ (2008, 2009 & 2010) but isn't the favorite in 2015. 

That honor goes to Cynthia Limo. Limo is on a tear so far in 2015 and is the champion of the Hy-Vee Half Marathon and Cooper River Bridge Run. Limo also placed second in the World's Best 10K, Crescent City Classic and Cherry Blossom 10 Mile this year.

Blake Russell comes in as the top US competitor after placing third at the 2015 Asics LA Marathon. Russell was an Olympian in 2008 and at the young age of 39 is the oldest Elite female runner.

2015 Elite Wheelchair Preview

Earning the top bib in the Elite Men's Open is Josh George of Champaign, Ill., deservedly so after earning the name of Marathon World Champion in London (1:31:31) last week. George will look to defend his 2014 Bloomsday title on Sunday, just one day after competing in a half-marathon. 

Scott Parson of San Jose, Calif. will look to re-take his place as Bloomsday Champion after wins in 2012 and 2013 and a win at the LA Marathon earlier this year.

Tekoa, Wash. native Susannah Scaroni has returned to her Bloomsday stomping grounds in an attempt for her third Elite Women's Open crown. Scaroni finished third in the Boston Marathon a couple of weeks ago and then fifth in London Marathon last Sunday, April 25th.

The hometown favorite Scaroni will be tested by current World-Champion Tatyana McFadden. The Russian native now calls Champaign, Ill. her home base after attending the University of Illinois. McFadden is a 10-time Paralympic medalist in track events and even added another int he Paralympic Winter games in Sochi, Russia.

Don't miss pictures from last the 2014 Elite Top Three Bloomsday Finishers by clicking below.

SLIDESHOW: Bloomsday Top Three Elite Finishers in Photos

Check out these photo's courtesy of Bloomsday and Chronotrack of the top three men (Alan Kiprono, Kevin Kochei and Cleophas Ngetich) and women (Mary Wacera, Lineth Chepkurui and Risper Gesabwa) finishers of Bloomsday 2014! More>>

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